We calculate water-mass (WM) transformation and formation rates in thermohaline (θ-S), density (σ) and geographic coordinates over three years for three ocean basins; the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Southern Ocean by partitioning surface heat and freshwater fluxes into bins of sea surface salinity and temperature (SSS, SST) and density (σ). The three years correspond to the overlap between the SMOS and Aquarius SSS products with the SST product being that from OSTIA. Surface heat and freshwater fluxes were taken from the NOCS climatology V2.0, OAFLUX and the satellite based CMORPH dataset for evaporation and precipitation respectively. Results from SMOS and Aquarius satellite derived datasets are inter-compared followed by a comparison between the literature locations of Mode Waters (MW) in σ, θ-S and geographic co-ordinates and SMOS SSS. Then a sensitivity experiment was performed – utilising a MonteCarlo (MC) simulation – where we show the relative contributions of SSS and SST on WM formation through perturbations introduced to the satellite SSS and SST datasets. We aim to demonstrate and evaluate the feasibility of satellites at characterising the distribution and dynamics of WM’s via a comparison with literature.